I fell out of love with clothes and in love with linen
We spend 5 minutes with Hayley Worley, founder of The Sheet Society, who is shaking up the linen industry, one bed at a time.
SDT: What drove you to start your own business?
Hayley: I was working in the fashion industry and I just honestly fell out of love with clothes. I remember it was just after the met gala, and I just thought, god I couldn’t care less what Gigi Hadid wore! I still very much wanted to be involved with fabrics and colours, so bed sheets to me seemed like a really great option.
The bedding industry is one that definitely needed some life breathed back into it, so the idea of building on your linen cupboard like you would your wardrobe was really the premise for the brand.
SDT: What were the challenges of starting an eCommerce business?
Hayley: I have a product background, so definitely the biggest thing for me was the marketing side and ecommerce side of the business. I remember launching the brand and not knowing to submit a sitemap to Google so we turned up on page 107 for the term ‘The Sheet Society’. The world of eCommerce is a bit daunting as there are so many different areas and avenues, but lucky now there are so many great resources online.
The biggest challenge about launching a brand that is so about the colours and textures that customers can’t actually view touch or feel before purchasing was definitely a hurdle. Luckily the mattress-in-a-box brands were able to pave the way for buying bedding online being common practice.
SDT: You're up against some pretty big industry names, how do you create a point of difference?
Hayley: You know what, I never actually think about our competitors or the industry and I think that’s been a really good way to ensure that we are doing completely different things. We are completely leading the way in how you shop for sheets with our interactive Bed Builder that we launched just recently. The configurator allows for you to add any colour, any fabric to a 3d image of a bed so you’re able to mix and match a combo that works best for you.
We're looking to take this into an Augmented Reality scenario so you’ll be able to view your selects on your actual bed in your own space which has never been done before in the world!
Fundamentally though, it’s our product that sets us apart from other brands. Fashion plays a huge part in our product development so we’re interpreting trends like the 70’s which is massive at the moment through to products like our Darcy Corduroy range.
SDT: What marketing strategies have you employed?
Hayley: What haven’t we tried?! It’s been really fun being a digital brand and really having so many digital channels to test and learn from. Anyone in the world is able to jump on a computer and start showing ads through the Facebook, Instagram and Google platforms so in the beginning it allowed us to launch marketing campaigns without a huge initial outlay or agency costs and manage daily budgets ourselves.
A huge metric we look at is our ‘cost acquire a customer’ so we’re able to keep really close to the pulse with exactly how our marketing campaigns are performing. We’re able to pull back or push harder based on data in real time to ensure our marketing spend is working as hard as we need it to!
SDT: What are the future dreams for your business?
Hayley: We’ve seen such huge growth as soon as the pandemic hit as people started to stay home and focus more on turning their homes into havens. We’re leading our growth strategy bottom up by moving to a larger warehouse and implementing some pretty robust back end systems so that we can keep up with demand. The dream will be to get the operations side of things sorted and then to really start scaling our marketing activity. We just opened our first store in Abbotsford, and trying to find the perfect space in Sydney.
My dream for the business will always be to have fun with it, never to take ourselves too seriously and for every bed in Australia to be covered in The Sheet Society, of course!